Jairam Ramesh promises to reflect general sentiment on Bt brinjal

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Kochi, Feb 9 (ANI) Prior to taking a final decision on the commercialisation of Bt brinjal, Minister of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh has said it would reflect the overall sentiments of the general public.

Taking to reporters here on Monday Ramesh said:" the interests of consumers, producers and also the need of conservation of bio-diversity and reduction in usage of pesticides would be kept in mind while taking the final decision on mass cultivation of Bt brinjal.

"I have to be sensitive to the public opinion; I have to be responsible to science. I have to look after the interest of consumers, and I also have to look after the interest of producers.

I have to think of conservation of bio-diversity and yet I have to think of the need to reduce pesticides use. So these are all factors. It is not (an) easy decision to make, let me tell you and I don't expect anybody to be happy with what I will decide. But as I said it is a decision that will reflect general sentiment of people. I can't ignore the sentiments of people."

On Saturday, he had taken part in the nation-wide public debate and consultations on the genetically modified crop that was held in Bangalore.

Last year, Ramesh had promised additional consultations with farmers" groups, NGOs, scientists and other stakeholders before the release of Bt brinjal.

BT brinjal is a transgenic brinjal created by inserting a gene cry1Ac from soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into brinjal. A US-based multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation and a Maharashtra-based Indian company market BT brinjal in India. (ANI)

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